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post #11 of Old 08-13-2003
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I''m an English teacher in a public school. I may be able to add a bit of light here.

I agree with Stede. Some very smart young people just don''t fit well in a traditional school setting.
And saying that is not an excuse for quitting-for-quitting''s-sake. Others in this thread have pointed out the unalterable truth that the ability to endure unpleasant tasks, to perservere through difficult situations, and to delay your gratification builds the essential character trait of maturity that replaces the impulsiveness and selfishness of childhood and yields the kind of adults that we all want in a civilized world. I will summarize that sentiment as "You will discover that life is hard; and people without <em>some kind</em> of education don''t advance as far, as a rule, as those who have one." That idea is well-received, and can be counted as <u>Wisdom that All Young People Should Heed</u>.

Having said all that, Stede is also right when he stresses that (given that you are adamant about leaving the public schools, and just as adamant about cruising to far places) learning a trade (which I submit <u>is</u> a <em>kind</em> of eduction) that will be in demand in the cruising community will be essential, and diesel and refrigeration skills top the list. I''m sure that if Robin Lee Graham had those skills, he wouldn''t have had to dig through a trash heap for a pair of boots that would allow him to work at the power plant in Darwin just to finance the next leg of his circumnavigation. Working with tools and skills is better than working with back and arms.<p><em>By the way, get a copy of his book, </em>Dove,<em> which is still a classic for young sailors filled with wanderlust.<p></em>It''s also been expressed in this thread that many young people who are frustrated in school discover that they are actually capable students once they are learning something they have a <em>reason</em> to learn. Motivation is a powerful conditioner of behavior.<p>In concert with your parents and your counselor, you might aim at the completetion of the GED diploma. If this is going to be your senior year, and you are very far behind in credits, using this year preparing for the GED exam may be more productive than trying to make up credits toward a conventional HS diploma. Everyone''s situation is unique, but approaching your folks with a well thought-out plan that they can see the reason in could be a good first step.

Good Luck to you.
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